An audience of peers, friends and relatives in Mayo Concert Hall eagerly awaited the recital led by students on Wednesday, Oct. 2.
The Music Department’s Afternoon Recital Series showcases the talents of students throughout the semester, with this installment including performances by Joseph Pagani, Nicole DiBenedetto, Kyle Sheehan, Austin Barney and Daniel P. Malloy Jr.
As Pagani, the first performer, stepped onto the stage next to his harp, the room burst with applause for the start of the show.
Pagani opened the recital with “Sonatina for Harp” by Sergio Natra. With graceful sweeps along the strings, Pagani entranced the audience with delicate notes as he played.
Next to perform was DiBenedetto, whose oboe playing was equally as beautiful. Accompanied by Kathy Shanklin on piano, she enveloped the audience with the playing of “Sonata for Oboe and Piano” by Camille Saint-Saëns. Each breath that she took allowed for a string of notes keeping the audience fixated on her performance.
Regardless of her emotions before appearing on stage, performers like DiBenedetto have their own way of getting past being nervous. When asked about how she tackles her nerves, DiBenedetto said,“(I) take a few deep breaths, walk on stage and there I am.”
The audience was given a change when Sheehan stepped out with his instrument: his voice. Singing Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s “Kuda, Kuda vy udalilis (Lenski’s Aria),” Sheehan pulled everyone into his performance as he held a hand out to the audience and matched the power and emotion of the song with vivid facial expressions.
“You have to really, completely put yourself in the piece,” Sheehan said. “(You have to) get completely engrossed.”
From one powerful performance to another, Barney performed a rendition of “Concerto for Trombone” by Gordon Jacob. The range of notes Barney struck were effortlessly played — it was hard to take your eyes off the trombone slide, and the song ended beautifully with Shankin’s quick flick of the hand on the piano.
Finally, Malloy took his place on stage, and like Sheehan, used his voice as his instrument. As he sang “Se vuol ballare,” an Italian song from “Le nozze de Figaro” by Mozart, and was accompanied by Sally Livingston on piano, he told a story with his voice. His steady eye contact captivated the audience, leaving them hanging onto every note as he sang. By the song’s end, a small smile spread across his face — a sure sign of a good performance.
The recital series is something that should not be missed, at the least for the amazing talent and hard work of the performers. For freshman music education major Russell Teller, it is much more than that.
“It’s a good representation that music is the best thing we have as people,” he said.